+3 Interview: Hyena

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“Making space for cis-women, trans-women and feminine-identified people takes active effort. Even in theatre, the majority of voices heard are those of cis-men.”

WHO: Romana Soutus – Writer, Performer & Producer

WHAT: “Hyena is an interactive and visceral solo show about the beast within. Hy examines questions of intimacy, femininity and vulnerability as she attempts to navigate the painful world in which we live, while toeing the line between her public and private self. Straight from its world premiere at La MaMa NYC in 2016.”

WHERE: Paradise in The Vault (Venue 29)

WHEN: 21:40 (65 min)

MORE: Click Here!


Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

Yes! We’ve never been before.

Tell us about your show.

In a workshop with Belarus Free Theatre, writer/performer Romana Soutus was challenged to write one page that could never be performed on a stage in her home country. That challenge manifested itself into a one-woman piece that explores the dichotomy of body and image, the desire to destroy while being perceived as living in a body designed to create.

Hyena is produced by Romana Soutus and Amy Surratt, both self-identified women. In fact, the entire production team on the ground in Edinburgh is made up of self-identified women.

Hyena is about the experience of femininity, and in that spirit it felt essential to have a production team made up entirely of self-identified women. Making space for cis-women, trans-women and feminine-identified people takes active effort. Even in theatre, the majority of voices heard are those of cis-men. Hyena and the team behind it consciously fight to create space for a story often left unaccounted for by actively pursuing voices often left unaccounted. The team is working to unlock cages, both literal and figurative.

Hyena premiered at La MaMa in New York City in March 2016, but for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival production of Hyena, the whole team decided to use three adjectives as their compass – lean, mean and dangerous. Romana went into re-writes and the design team tweaked their visions in order to incorporate a more “raw” feeling overall. In rehearsals the show is becoming tighter and tighter with every run and that feeling of danger has returned to the performance.

Although Hyena has already made its debut, the production taking place at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be unique to the festival.  Hyena will be performing again at the United Solo festival in New York City on September 27th and we hope to make more connections at the festival to take the show even further!

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

For a fellow one-woman show go see my La MaMa NYC sister Heather Litteer’s show Lemonade. For another queer in-your-face explosion go see Dandy Darkly’s Myth Mouth.


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